Technical setup

What Is an MX Record? And Why Is It Important?

May 17, 2024
7 min.

If you want to actually get replies, you can’t do email outreach without MX records!

MX records inform the sending server about which receiving server to send the email to.

If you don’t have your MX records set up, your replies will get lost in cyberspace.

Below, we’ll discuss what an MX record is and why it’s important. ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

What’s an MX Record

An MX record is a DNS record that tells the sending servers where to send emails.

More specifically, the MX record determines the routing of email messages following the SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) guidelines.

An MX record must always have another domain as its destination.

Here’s an example MX record:

Name: Type: Priority: Value: TTL
@ MX 1 45000

Here’s what the different fields mean:

  • Name: 👉 If the MX record is intended for your root domain, it's always @. If, on the other hand, you’re setting up an MX record for a subdomain, for example,, then you should enter "mail" in the name field. With this subdomain in the Name field, all mail sent to it will be routed to the server specified in the Value field.
  • Type: 👉 Determines the type of DNS record. This can be both MX or TXT depending on your domain/hosting provider.
  • Priority: 👉 Since you can have multiple MX records, priority is essential to determine the order of email servers that should be utilized for incoming emails. The lower the number, the higher the priority. Some email service providers, like Google, will give you multiple MX records to be added to your domain, a primary email server, and multiple backup servers. The main server would have a priority of 1, but if there are issues with it, the sending server can try the server with the next highest priority. If there are multiple servers with the same priority, then they will all get routed an equal amount of email.
  • Value: 👉 This holds the receiving email server, for example: ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. Sometimes, this field is called Mail Server instead.
  • TTL: 👉 TTL stands for "Time to Live." It determines the time, in seconds, for which the server should cache the MX record.

The Importance of MX Is a No-Brainer ❌🧠

MX records play a crucial role in email delivery.

When someone sends a message to an email address associated with a specific domain, the MX records serve as a guide on where to deliver the message.

If there’s no receiving server specified, the email will get lost.

No replies equals no conversion!

In other words, it’s impossible to do email outreach without MX records.


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